The United Nations and the Iraqi government have reached a deal to transfer more than 3,000 Iranian dissidents living in a camp north of Baghdad, potentially averting what international observers have warned would be a massacre.
The dissidents have not responded to the deal, and a spokesman for the group told The Washington Times on Monday that they are waiting to review the official document.
Camp Ashraf is home to members of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK), which the State Department designated a terrorist group in 1997. The dissidents surrendered their weapons in 2003 as part of a cease-fire agreement with U.S. forces.
The camp has come under attack by Iraqi forces several times. In April, the Iraqi army attacked the camp and killed 36 residents, including eight women.
On Sunday, the dissidents said Camp Ashraf had come under rocket fire.
The Iraqi government has agreed to allow the U.N. to station monitors at the new camp. U.S. Embassy officials in Baghdad will visit the camp, and a liaison officer from the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights also will be involved in the process.
“We hope that [the deal] would officially include the minimum assurances so that it would be acceptable to Ashraf residents,” said Shahin Ghobadi, a Paris-based spokesman for the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a political coalition that includes the MEK.View Entire Story
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Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
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